Hurricane Ike is becoming stronger as it moves into the warm, Gulf of Mexico waters. The next stop on Ike’s destructive tour could be the U.S. Gulf Coast by the end of the week, possibly as a major 111-mph hurricane.
Ike, even though it is exiting Cuba, will still bring a bit of destructive weather tonight, generally in the form of heavy, flooding rains, damaging winds and battering surf. A bit of Ike`s rain and wind, although significantly less than what Cuba has experienced, will continue across the Florida Keys tonight.
Ike has already produced widespread damage across Cuba since late Monday. The island government is reporting at least four deaths, 18 injuries and widespread destruction to homes, especially across the eastern half of the nation.
Over the weekend, the hurricane was highly destructive in the Turk and Caicos Islands as well as Haiti and the Dominican Republic. More than 300 people dead have been reported in Haiti following the wrath of Ike.
Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for both the western provinces of Cuba and for the Florida Keys from west of the seven mile bridge west to Dry Tortugas.